The state of Israel frequently evicts Palestinians from areas it occupies, in particular in East Jerusalem or in the West Bank, usually on the basis of laws which favour Jewish settlers.

In international law, "forced evictions constitute gross violations of a range of internationally recognized human rights", "should only be carried in exceptional circumstances", and that "individuals affected by evictions orders have a right to adequate compensation for any loss of property and that evictions should never result in individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other human rights."

In the case of the forced eviction of Palestinians, does the state of Israel usually offer adequate relocation or compensation to the affected people?

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    The phrasing of this question seems to strongly indicate that you are expecting a certain answer.
    – James K
    May 22, 2022 at 19:48
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    @JamesK not particularly, actually. To my knowledge Israel strives to maintain democratic principles, and succeeds to a good extent given the circumstances. On the other hand, the country embraces religious discrimination, so I'm curious to know how this works. I'm happy to improve the phrasing if you have any suggestion, but if this is about using terms like "discriminating" and "human rights" I think that they factually describe the context for a reader who's not familiar with it.
    – Erwan
    May 23, 2022 at 10:09
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    It seems clearly biased. It start with a paragraph which states that Israel "evicts" people on the basis of "discrimating laws": Ie it frames the question by stating that "Israel is in the wrong". It then describes why evictions are wrong. Again, it emphasises that the framing of the question is "Israel is in the wrong". Then it asks the question, making a subtle shift from "eviction" to "forced eviction". These are all characteristics of "push questions" in which the questioner is clearly hoping to obtain a certain answer. @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica
    – James K
    May 23, 2022 at 19:16
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    @JamesK can you suggest a neutral rephrasing which explains the same situation and doesn't use these words please? The fact that these words have a negative connotation doesn't make them subjective, sometimes the correct word is negative. For example what Russia is doing in Ukraine is truly a war, and it's not an interpretation to say it. Also if there is a difference between eviction and forced eviction I don't know it, as far as I know an eviction is rarely voluntary.
    – Erwan
    May 23, 2022 at 21:45
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    Finally a push question is when there can only be one obvious answer, and Bjorn's answer shows the answer is actually quite complex and not obvious at all.
    – Erwan
    May 23, 2022 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


The answer is that it depends. The region that was Palestine is now divided into several political entities with its own jurisdictions and laws. There is the Israeli state within the pre-1967 borders, the annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the (remainder of) the West Bank which is further subdivided into Area C, where Israel exercises domestic jurisdiction and Area A&B, where (on paper) the Palestinian Authority exercises domestic jurisdiction.

In each of these, Palestinians (except for the Golan Heights where no or few Palestinians live) have been evicted by Israel. Whether they have been offered "adequate compensation" for leaving their homes has depended on the circumstances and on what one consider "adequate" compensation. The total number of eviction orders since the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 must be in the thousands so I'll provide three examples to illustrate my point. Note also that during the 1947-1949 Palestine war, Israeli forces deported tens of thousands of Palestinians, whose land and property were subsequently seized by the Israeli state with the legal backing of the Absentees' Property Law. These Palestinians and their descendants - who now number in the millions, most of whom are refugees - have not been compensated and how to fairly restitute them is one of the main issues of the "Palestine Question".

In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank and shortly thereafter razed the Mughrabi Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem and evicted its inhabitants to make room for the Western Wall Plaza. The whole quarter was the property of the waqf that administers the al-Haram al-Shariff (Temple Mount). Each of the families evicted was offered 100 to 200 Jordanian dinars. Thomas Philip Abowd writes (Colonial Jerusalem, p. 132):

With the belated arrival of written orders of expropriation came an Israeli offer of “compensation” to those whose homes were demolished. The mukhtar [mayor] related that some of the residents of the Moroccan Quarter community took the compensation. But most, including his family, have refused the money on principle to this day. The official Israeli notification estimated that the mukhtar's property was worth 200 Jordanian dinars, a sum not even remotely approaching the value of his home.

The Negev Bedouin in southern Israel have long been a thorn in the eye of the Israeli state. For decades it has tried to settle pastoral Bedouin tribes in Bedouin towns constructed for the purpose. Rahat is one such settlement. The question of Bedouin land ownership is a difficult one because the Bedouin have traditionally not kept official documents of land ownership. Despite this, their claim to land has historically been respected. Thus, Israel has often offered them land plots in the Bedouin cities in exchange for giving up their ancestral land:

In the early 1960’s, the Israeli government began a process of relocating the Bedouin to “townships” in order to put an end to Bedouin land claims in the Siyag and “free up” the land for the state.25 Moshe Dayan, the Minister of Agriculture at the time, said, “We should transform the Bedouin into an urban proletariat... this phenomenon of the Bedouin will disappear.” The idea that the Bedouin should be able to choose a rural, agricultural life, like the kibbutzim and moshavim that were sprouting up in the Negev, was off the table. 26 This relocation was accomplished by offering to compensate Bedouin for the land claims if they agree to relocate. Nevertheless, most Bedouin refused the meager compensation for the loss of their lands and traditional lifestyle, and more than 3,000 land claims remain unresolved.

However, in 2018, Israel convinced the about 350 villagers of Umm al-Hiran to relocate in exchange for an unspecified amount of compensation. According to some villagers, they were acting under duress. A few months prior to the agreement Israeli forces had shot to death a local Bedouin math teacher during a demonstration against the planned demolition of the village. According to previous reports, the compensation included 800 m^2 of land in Hura, a nearby Bedouin town, and up to NIS 200,000 ($57,264) to every family evicted.

A third example is the villages of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron hills in Area C in the West Bank. Israel in the early 1980s declared the 3000 hectare land Firing Zone 918 - a closed military zone. I believe the legal backing of the order stems from the Emergency Regulations adopted by the British in 1945 and as such the military is free to declare Palestinian territory "closed military zones" and evict the inhabitants without offering any compensation at all. However, Israel has offered to let Masafer Yatta's community continue working their land for two non-consecutive months per year and on Jewish holidays. The community rejected the offer.

Be wary of selection bias. People that Israel "adequately compensates" for forcibly evicting them are less likely to complain about it and thus less likely to be in the news.

  • FWIW a Jordanian Dinar was worth about 3.3 USD back in 1980(but later got pegged to the USD at 1.4). May 23, 2022 at 16:16
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    Regarding the Bedouin Tribes, it must be stated that they traditionally don't live by the rules of "land ownership", many of them are constantly moving their tents from one place to the other in the wilderness / desert, etc. So there is certainly no anology to Kibbutzim. It would maybe be interesting to discuss how different democratic countries are treating such types of tribes (In Africa, South America, the Far East, etc.).
    – Jacob3
    May 23, 2022 at 17:13
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    Indigenous is not the same as nomadic/pastoral. "Indigenous agreements" don't really serve as much of an example here, unless they apply to indigenous people that happen to be nomadic as well. Past historical arrangements with Bedouins certainly do apply. Google up nomadic problems land rights and there is no lack of problems being referred to, nothing all that specific to Israel. May 24, 2022 at 22:29
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    The usage of the phrase "historical Palestine" is being discussed on meta.
    – Philipp
    May 25, 2022 at 22:41
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    @BjörnLindqvist There's little to no correlation between signing something and understanding what you've signed. Nor does some general idea that this chunk of land is ours necessarily correlate to the systems of carefully measured, personally owned land being offered, which is likely to be much more invasively enforced today than previously on land historically considered worthless, like that of the Bedouins and Saami.
    – prosfilaes
    May 28, 2022 at 5:38

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